Supplementary material from "Shark skin-inspired designs that improve aerodynamic performance"

Published on 2018-02-06T10:03:29Z (GMT) by
There have been significant efforts recently aimed at improving the aerodynamic performance of aerofoils through the modification of their surfaces. Inspired by the drag-reducing properties of the tooth-like denticles that cover the skin of sharks, we describe here experimental and simulation-based investigations into the aerodynamic effects of novel denticle-inspired designs placed along the suction side of an aerofoil. Through parametric modelling to query a wide range of different designs, we discovered a set of denticle-inspired surface structures that achieve simultaneous drag reduction and lift generation on an aerofoil, resulting in lift-to-drag ratio improvements comparable to the best-reported for traditional low-profile vortex generators and even outperforming these existing designs at low angles of attack with improvements of up to 323%. Such behaviour is enabled by two concurrent mechanisms: (i) a separation bubble in the denticle's wake altering the flow pressure distribution of the aerofoil to enhance suction and (ii) streamwise vortices that replenish momentum loss in the boundary layer due to skin friction. Our findings not only open new avenues for improved aerodynamic design, but also provide new perspective on the role of the complex and potentially multifunctional morphology of shark denticles for increased swimming efficiency.

Cite this collection

Domel, August G.; Saadat, Mehdi; Weaver, James C.; Haj-Hariri, Hossein; Bertoldi, Katia; Lauder, George V. (2018): Supplementary material from "Shark skin-inspired designs that improve aerodynamic performance". The Royal Society. Collection.